11 benefits that make employees happy at work

A quick summary:

  • Access to onsite health professionals
  • Flexible working opportunities
  • Personal development initiatives
  • Heka (obviously!)
  • Employee benefits for parents
  • Mentoring programmes
  • Generous annual leave
  • Wellbeing days
  • Duvet days
  • Company trips
  • Work station vouchers

Employee benefits come in all shapes and sizes. Some are great, and others not so much. The problem is they don’t always drive happiness, and in the modern workplace, that’s a must. 

Despite the world emerging from the doom and gloom of a pandemic, we’re still no closer to a positive outlook than in previous years.

There’s a recession on the horizon, and the cost of living threatens the pockets of millions in Britain. 

Now, possibly more than ever, employers must dig deep (and not necessarily financially) to support employee wellbeing, provide better benefits and build people-first operations.

Similar read: The power of wellbeing gifts for staff

Workplace benefits that make employees happy

What better way to deal with all the negativity and anxiety than benefits that make employees happy? It sounds simple because it is! Without further ado, let’s dive into these 11 happy people perks at work.

Onsite health professionals and support

Starting with access to onsite health professionals. This may be one of the more expensive benefits, assuming you don’t already hire a Chief Wellbeing Officer or invest in mental health training. 

That said, it could be an investment that propels your business to new heights. Think about it – by offering better onsite support, you can minimise absenteeism and presenteeism, and understand problems employees face. That’s exactly why onsite health professionals makes our list of benefits that make employees happy. 

Two mac computer screens in a home office
Flexible work benefits that make employees happy

Flexible working arrangements

Flexible working arrangements can mean many things. Typically, however, it refers to starting and finishing at times that suit employees and working from home or in the office.

Flexible working continues to disrupt the job market in 2021/22 and we envision it becoming a necessity rather than a nice-to-have. That’s if the ‘war for talent’ and ‘Great Resignation’ are anything to go by.

Access to personal development initiatives 

Personal development should be part and parcel of a career. Ultimately, we all want to progress, learn more and achieve more. That can be quite difficult if an employer doesn’t take an interest in our goals and ambitions. 

Access to things like online courses, university degrees and more can really drive happiness. It creates purpose and gives employees an objective outside of daily responsibilities.

Two women in a yoga studio
Health and wellbeing experiences, products and services

1000s of wellbeing experiences, products and services

What good would a list of benefits that make employees happy be without mentioning Heka? Generally speaking, any perks that support wellbeing such as yoga classes, fitness memberships, healthy meal kits and more are worth offering. 

Without blowing our own trumpet, we think Heka should definitely be on the list of benefits that make employees happy. There are more than 1,000 unique products, services and experiences for your employees to choose from on Heka. 

Want to arrange a demo? Book today with our wellbeing experts who are more than happy to help!

Similar read: 7 Considerations before choosing an employee benefits platform

A mother holding her child while working from home on her laptop
Employee benefits that support parents in the workplace

Parental benefits in the workplace

As Gen Z and millennials make up the majority of the workforce, they are also becoming parents. Benefits that make employees happy may be benefits that help them support their families. 

Instead of offering benefits that focus solely on your employee, think about how they can create better lives for those around them. From flexible working to helping with the financial costs of childcare, there are many creative ways to support parents in the workplace.

Mentoring programmes

Much like personal development, mentoring programmes can be a great addition to benefits that make employees happy. What often goes unnoticed is the positive impact it can have on peer relationships too. 

Providing you have a diverse range of employees with different skill levels, you can couple up employees based on what they can learn from one another. For the more skilled employee, they are able to develop management and leadership skills. 

For the less experienced employee, you can offer the chance to learn more from their peers. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved and can be a cost-effective employee benefit

Generous annual leave

Annual leave is available to everyone. Our allowances may change, but we all have a set amount of time each year to step back and relax. 

Some forward-thinking organisations are testing the waters with ‘unlimited holiday’. While there are mixed reviews around unlimited holidays, it can work. 

Employers must find a middle ground. Typically, offering a set amount of days as a minimum is the best solution to generous annual leave. If you haven’t already, consider trailing more annual holiday allowance and measure performance and productivity – providing they stay at high levels, what’s there to lose? 

Wellbeing days

Wellbeing days are commonly days outside of annual leave allowances. Days that are given to employees simply to focus on themselves during the week. Now, some employers may lose their minds, wondering how it can be a great idea to just give away free time off. 

Remember, this list is benefits that make employees happy – and if anything certain, free time away from our desks, the office or daily responsibilities can drive happiness. 

The advantage of wellbeing days means employees can offer additional time off without it becoming an expectation. Offering an additional day per year creates an expectation that impromptu wellbeing days do not. 

Duvet days

Following on from wellbeing days, duvet days allow employees who otherwise work in the office, to work from home. If your company doesn’t currently have a flexible working policy, not to worry. 

By giving employees a ‘duvet day’ allowance each year, they have the peace of mind knowing they can avoid being in the office, should they feel ill or simply not feel like being there.

The wing of an aeroplane high above the clouds
Annual company trips makes the list of benefits that make employee happy

Annual company trips

If your company is lucky enough to offer company trips, your summer could come early. Company trips are either a few days, a long weekend or an entire week in the year where the team jet sets to somewhere luxurious – although, it doesn’t have to be abroad.

These breaks give everyone the chance to build relationships, focus on themselves and plan for the future of the business. It’s a combination of work and play, with play being the focus. 

In times of uncertainty, (but also generally) not everyone can afford an annual holiday abroad. This gives employees the chance to bask in the sun for a few days! 

A female employee smiling and working from home at a computer
Working from home vouchers to support employees

Work station vouchers

The space we use to work can dictate our productivity and performance levels. For your employees, offering an annual work station allowance could give them the chance to design their work station the way they want it. Our environment has a huge impact on personal health and wellbeing - some of us prefer minimal layouts with open space, others want to fill every nook and cranny with houseplants.

It's not just nice-to-have's that your employees can invest in. If they feel their work station is missing something, be it a mouse, keyboard, or whiteboard, they have the means to change that. It's the freedom to choose how to layout their work station so it works for them, rather than against them.

Similar read: The best alternative employee benefits for your team

The benefits that make employees happy list doesn’t end there

Great employee benefits require leaders and HR teams to think outside the box; get creative with their offering and personalise the experience. As you can see, there are a number of benefits that make employees happy.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this list, your benefits must help employees achieve better health and wellbeing – use this list as a blueprint to develop a revamped employee benefits package.

Conclusively, your benefits are designed to make the lives of your staff easier and enjoyable. Spark up conversations and listen to the employee benefits advice that your team has to give — this could help transform your workplace perks.

Equally, you should familiarise yourself with the signs of unhappy employees in the workplace. Understanding what makes employees both happy and unhappy gives you all the insight you need to create healthier, happier workplaces.

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